As much of North America, Bolton ON included, are limiting travel and working from home, vehicle care doesn’t end. If you have concerns about a vehicle not being ready when you need it for grocery trips, medical appointments, or other essential travel, automotive repair shops, including Albion Auto Service ARE open during this Covid-19 crisis. Keeping you and your family mobile is a legitimate concern, and contactless processes allow for services to be performed and payment while implementing social distancing.

BATTERY
Vehicle lead acid batteries will lose charge at a rate of 2-8% per month. This rate increases, as temperatures increase. If your battery was already weak, there is a good chance your vehicle will not start if you let it sit for an extended period of time without starting and allowing the vehicle’s charging system to maintain the battery. A trickle charger is a great idea, if you know your vehicle will be parked for a long duration.

RODENTS
Rodents love the shelter of a vehicle that has not moved. And no vehicle is completely impenetrable. Some insurance plans will cover rodent damage, but you will still be out deductibles and the time you do not have your vehicle. The AVERAGE to repair chewed up wiring in a vehicle is $1200, with some instances creating $10,000 in damage! Rodents love to create havoc with wiring, insulation, and even the upholstery. Wiring issues can render your vehicle unable to be be driven, and are the most expensive damages. What can you do? Some natural rodent repellents include cotton balls that have been soaked in peppermint, cayenne pepper, or clove oils. Some people have had luck with shavings from strong deodorant soaps, like Irish Spring. Cedarwood chips and laundry dryer sheets are additional items you may have around the house that can deter these destructive little critters. If you suspect you have had rodents in your vehicle because of new, unpleasant odours, droppings, claw marks, or you are suddenly having issues with your vehicle, please contact us immediately at 905-857-8413.

ODORS
Vehicles that sit locked up for days or weeks can develop some musty, unpleasant odors. If you are able to park in a secure garage, crack a window to allow the car to ventilate. If your vehicle is sitting outdoors, consider leaving a dryer sheet or two in the vehicle to help with the smells. If the odors are stronger that you might normally notice, it is possible mold or mildew in your ventilation system has taken hold. If running the fan does not eliminate the smells, commercially available sanitization is available at most auto repair facilities. This process will kill the mold and mildew, and is a great time to evaluate your cabin air filter at this time.

BRAKES
Brake rotors and drums are made of plain steel, with little anti-corrosion treatment. After as little as a few hours of sitting in wet environments, a fine layer of rust will start to develop on their surfaces. Of course, the longer your car sits, the worse this gets, especially on poorly drained parking surfaces. When heading out for the first time in a few days or weeks, take the time to gently push and release the brake pedal a few times before setting off. Then, with a window or two lowered, listen up. If you hear some light to moderate scraping noise from the brakes, avoid panic stops and instead brake gently for the first few stops. This will allow the brake pads to wear off the rust build-up without overheating the rotors, and will lessen the chances of a brake vibration that will require rotor replacement to cure.

If you’re a regular parking brake user, keep it up; exercising these systems (mostly made up of mechanical linkages) is key to avoid them seizing. If you haven’t touched the parking brake in months, don’t try it now unless you have the time, skills, and equipment to get unstuck.

Take care of yourself and your families during these uncertain times. Control what you can control, which includes proactively caring for your health, your home, and your mobility. We are a community that will care for each other during difficult times. If you need help, please let us know. Our mission is so much bigger than auto repair, and we treat our commitment to being an “essential service” with the utmost respect.